Nadja Hertel Goon Squad is a fast read, and despite the non-linear timeline I didn't find it hard to follow the characters because each story is written in a way that it can stand on its own. It's soooo much better when you read it the second time though, you pick up all the clever details Egan hid that you wouldn't see the first time around.
Donna This is not a difficult book to read, but it does take some concentration because of the large cast of characters and the changes in place and time. I suggest you read it straight through or I think you'll forget who some of the characters are and how everything and everyone interlocks. It's not really a book to put down for any length of time. It's great as an audiobook, by the way, if that format interests you.
Steve Mitchell Shut off your phone, draw the blinds, and power through it in two days. You don't have to read it this quickly, but I wouldn't recommend stretching it out. Although it's in separate vignettes or sections, there's something about the whole vibe coming through. More to the point, I doubt you'll be able to stay away from it long so doubt worry about taking too long.
Hilary Hi Renee, I think you can skip a few days and come back to it, maybe a week, though you might need to go back and review a few sections to spark your memory. A month's wait? Probably too long. For me, it was an easy enough read, but as I wrote in my review, the narrative didn't always motivate me to read. Some sections did, others didn't. For your first question, I think it depends on the reader.
Cindy Choi You can totally come back to this book later but it's more fun if you keep the thread of all the characters. You can also totally skip the last chapter, which was totally lame. It's not at all like George R.R. Martin where keeping the thread of all the characters is essential.